Tigard orchestra collaborates for last concert

By Rebecca Ramirez, staff writer

As the school year nears its end, the Tigard High Orchestra performed its last concert of the year, a cafe concert with a “downtown Portland” vibe.

Before the orchestra performed full ensemble pieces, soloists were able to showcase their talent as audience members socialized and snacked. Fowler student Derek Liu did a demonstration of Chinese yo-yo to the song “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. Freshman Hannah Curry performed a jazz dance solo to the song “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton. One soloist, junior Daniel Kim, performed a solo on his cello of the piece “Gigue” from Suite No. 3, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. This year, Kim placed first as the Oregon Solo Cello Champion.

“I think he deserved it a year ago,” said orchestra teacher Robert Koehler. “It was awesome.”

Sophomore Tianna Coburn read a poem with Curry that was written by Coburn entitled “Music.”

“This is why music matters,” the girls read. “It conveys your emotions, it connects people. This is why music matters.”

Once the opening acts were complete, the full orchestra began to perform, including classical pieces such as “Symphony No. 2 in C Major” by Franz Josef Haydn and “Mandolin Concerto in C Major” by Antonio Vivaldi. Senior Kai Dobson performed the mandolin solo for the Mandolin Concerto, which is one of very few pieces that is composed for the mandolin.

The orchestra also honored the movies The Hunger Games and The Lion King by playing “The Circle of Life” by Elton John and “Themes from ‘The Hunger Games’” by James Newton Howard.

Koehler announced that at the recommendation of his doctor, he will be retiring from a full time teaching position after this school year. Over many years Koehler has taught orchestra classes and Tigard High, Fowler Middle School, and Twality Middle School.

“I’m not one for following rules,” Koehler began, “so I’m hoping to continue teaching at Tigard High and a class at Twality.”

Koehler also expressed his hopes for the return of the orchestra program at Fowler. As a result of the program’s termination, there are currently two Fowler students, Liu and Anna Billings, who attend Tigard High for orchestra classes. As long as the future of middle school orchestra programs remain up in the air, Tigard will continue to accept younger students.